Victoria have opened the JLT One-Day Cup with a 13-run win over Queensland in Townsville in a match that provided contrasting experiences for Australia’s Test aspirants.
Glenn Maxwell provided a statement of intent to national selectors by top-scoring in Sunday’s match, hitting a confident 80 from 91 balls to help his side to 240 from 48.3 overs at Riverway Stadium.
In contrast, fellow Test squad omission Peter Handscomb and Queensland limited-overs superstar Chris Lynn were dismissed for ducks.
Maxwell rescued his side from a parlous 3-40 and kept the scoreboard ticking over from the start of his innings.
He was considered by many to be an unlucky omission this week from the squad to face Pakistan in the coming two-Test series but the hard-hitting batsman was reluctant to focus on anything other than representing Victoria.
“You don’t need extra determination to play for your state, that’s for sure,” Maxwell said.
“I’m not thinking about (national team selection) right now, that’s gone right at the moment. There’s no point dwelling on it and talking about it.”
The bowling heroics in the opening match of the summer came from 18-year-old Will Sutherland, who ripped through the Queensland top order to return 5-45.
Sutherland, son of outgoing Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland, knocked over five of Queensland’s seven recognised batsman in just his fourth match at this level.
“He’s a star and a very good young player,” Maxwell said of Sutherland.
“He’s tall and hits a great length and hits the seam and that makes it really hard for batters.
“He has a really level head and also has some really good skills with the bat.”
Queensland, who were missing five players on national team duty, seemed dead and buried at 8-145 but salvation very nearly came from the most unlikely of sources.
Leg-spinner Mitch Swepson showed the top order how it’s done with a run-a-ball knock of 77 before being the last man out with 3.1 overs remaining.
The No.9 had never previously passed 50 in 51 previous Shield or one-day matches.
Long-serving NSW batsman Nic Maddinson proved he will be a valuable asset by scoring 68 on debut for Victoria.
Debutant legspinner Tom O’Connell picked up 2-42 in another bowling bright spot for the Vics.